Apr 28

Ketubah of the Day

Pillars of Home Ketubah

by Naomi Teplow

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Ketubah Description

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In this Ketubah, there is a suggestion of a home, with the pillars symbolizing stability and strength ("Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars" Proverbs, 9.1), and the roof, made of tiles in a repeating geometrical pattern, symbolizing shelter, security and the beauty of order and continuity. This home, like the chuppah in the wedding ceremony, is open to the world and the community. On the left side there is a landscape common in Israel, witha wheat field ready for harvest, and fruit trees, sybolizing richness, abundance and peace. In the distance, Jerusalem is seen. The grapevine and the olive trees call to mind Psalm128 (which is written in its entirety above the picture), where it is written, "thy wife shall be as fruitful vine by the sides of thine house, thy children like olive plants round thine table." On the right side there is a more universal landscape, with flowers that might be found in any country. The floor tiles, the peacocks and other decorative and symbolic elements are meant to add beauty, harmony and meaning to the home being established in this wedding. There are also some elements from the Song of Songs, like the lily of the valley, the rose of Sharon, the doves, the pillars, the cypress trees and more. The calligraphy around the picture, besides Psalm 128, includes blessings of the marriage and some verses from Eshet Chail and The Song of Songs, like "My beloved is mine and I am his."

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Ketubah Artist Bio

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Naomi Teplow has been making Ketubot and illustrated manuscripts since 1983. Her style is influenced by old European manuscripts and Persian miniatures with their strong, rich colors, detailed natural scenes and elaborate floral and geometrical designs. Her medium is primarily gouache on paper or parchment. Ms. Teplow has participated in numerous group shows, and her 1995 Song of Songs series of paintings and illuminated texts were exhibited in the Berkeley Jewish Community Center in 1996.